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Mum’s fear - Don’t let time run out to fund toddler Ireland’s life-saving treatment

PUBLISHED: 13:38 19 July 2020 | UPDATED: 13:38 19 July 2020

Ireland Banham, aged two, from Ipswich, who is battling neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of cancer Picture: RIKKI ADAMS

Ireland Banham, aged two, from Ipswich, who is battling neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of cancer Picture: RIKKI ADAMS

RIKKI ADAMS

An Ipswich mum has voiced fears time is running out to raise £180,000 for her toddler’s lifesaving treatment in the US.

A tender moment for Ireland Banham and mum Chloe Picture:  RIKKI ADAMSA tender moment for Ireland Banham and mum Chloe Picture: RIKKI ADAMS

Now a charity has stepped in to help with fundraising for two-year-old Ireland Banham, who is battling against neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of cancer.

Ireland’s mother, Chloe, wrote on her daughter’s fundraising Facebook page, Ireland’s Neuroblastoma Journey: “We only have until October to fundraise the remaining £180,000 that we need for Ireland’s vaccine, but deep down we know that we will never be able to make it.

“Truth is, this breaks our hearts. As a family we have tried and tried as much as we possibly can, as has everyone who has helped, donated and fundraised for us.”

After seeing the heartbreaking post, the Bradley Lowery Foundation (BLF), which helped launch Ireland’s fundraising campaign, stepped in to take over the fundraising drive for now, so Chloe can concentrate on supporting her daughter in hospital.

Ireland Banham undergoing treatment in hospital Picture: RIKKI ADAMSIreland Banham undergoing treatment in hospital Picture: RIKKI ADAMS

The charity was set up in memory of Bradley, six, who lost his battle with neuroblastoma in July 2017, and Bradley’s mum, Gemma Lowery, has previously visited Chloe and Ireland.

Ireland, described by her mum as “beautiful and courageous”, is currently having antibody treatment in hospital, which is designed to locate the cancer cells and kill them.

“It is extremely painful for Ireland. It breaks my heart to see her in so much pain,” Chloe said.

“Fundraising has slowed down since the Covid lockdown, people are watching their pennies which is understandable, not everyone has spare cash to support in these uncertain times.

Ireland Banham's family are raising funds to pay for life-saving treatment in the US Picture: RIKKI ADAMSIreland Banham's family are raising funds to pay for life-saving treatment in the US Picture: RIKKI ADAMS

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“I have spoken with the Bradley Lowery Foundation and it really has given us the boost to carry on.

MORE: ‘Cheeky, sassy’ toddler’s cancer fight backed by Bradley Lowery’s mum

“When I look at Ireland and the fight she is going through with treatments, and seeing how strong she is, she gives me the energy every day to carry on to get to our target.”

The toddler, who has been battling stage four cancer, was diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma in July last year. She has since undergone a range of gruelling 12-hour operations, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and other treatments, spending time at both Ipswich and Addenbrooke’s Hospitals,

Ireland and Chloe with Bradley Lowery's mum, Gemma   PICTURE: RACHEL EDGEIreland and Chloe with Bradley Lowery's mum, Gemma PICTURE: RACHEL EDGE

Her family and supporters have been raising money for her to travel to New York to have vaccine treatments, which could prevent her from relapsingn.

This would have to be carried out at the right time, once she is in remission, which is why the money needs to be raised by October.

So far £55,000 has been raised, with £180,000 still needing to be raised.

Lynn Murphy, co-founder and head of communications and fundraising for the BLF, said: “Ireland’s campaign has slowed down due to the number of events that have had to be postponed or cancelled due to the government lockdown.

Ireland with mum Chloe  PICTURE: RACHEL EDGEIreland with mum Chloe PICTURE: RACHEL EDGE

“We are contacting businesses in the area that are still open to ask them to consider sponsoring Ireland’s campaign.

“This will work by businesses holding one or more small fundraising events within their workplace, like dress down days and each staff member donates £1, or bake sales within an office environment. There is so much that can be done to support Ireland and with little effort.”

Individuals can contribute via Ireland’s JustGiving page.

Businesses are being asked to email lynn@bradleyloweryfoundation.com for further details on how they can support Ireland.


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